Senate Panel OKs Intl Violence Against Women Act Amid Abortion Concerns

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 15, 2010   |   2:12PM   |   Washington, DC

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed yesterday the International Violence Against Women Act (IVAWA) that presents concerns over activists using it to promote abortion.

Pro-abortion committee Chairman John Kerry of Massachusetts is the lead sponsor of the bill and he previously scrapped one hearing and vote on the measure because opponents believed he lacked the votes to pass it.

However, the pro-abortion feminist wire web site indicates the bill finally emerged from the panel without any amendment neutralizing abortion concerns but also with amendments that “essentially stripped funding and kept funding to existing resources.”

The legislation is not expected to pass the House or Senate during the lame duck session and, with pro-life advocates running the House next year and increasing their numbers in the Senate, the bill is not expected to go far next session either.

Still, pro-life groups hoped to educate lawmakers and the public on the potential problems.
The rhetoric of the bill sounds nice — is there anyone other than radical extremists who favors violence against women?

But Janice Crouse of Concerned Women for America says “The problems with I-VAWA are hidden in the fine print under the lofty rhetoric” with the “predictable agenda” of “abortion-on-demand on a global scale.”

Crouse says, “The I-VAWA (Section 3) acknowledges U.N. Security Council Resolution 1325 — which, as those who are knowledgeable about the U.N. recognize, is the section that is cited as mandating the protection of reproductive rights.”

The pro-life women’s group spokeswoman says abortion advocates frequently equate “reproductive rights” with abortion and a lack of such “rights” with domestic violence. “The I-VAWA would allocate $10 million a year to the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM (Section 201), one of the major U.N. agencies devoted to promoting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which prominently feature reproductive rights.”

The I-VAWA bill (Section 112) also includes provisions for grants to Women’s Nongovernmental Organizations and Community-Based Organizations, many of which are pro-abortion and actively promote abortion in other nations.

The organization that has taken the lead in promoting I-VAWA is the Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), “which stands to receive a major portion of I-VAWA funds,” Crouse says. The FVPF promotes “training and sensitization” programs for judges and judicial officials that will solidify “access to reproductive services.”

The bill establishes an “Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues,” who could become an aggressive abortion advocate.

CWA’s Crouse says the bill is ironic in that it doesn’t address sex-selective abortion, which the pro-life group notes “is one of today’s most egregious policies perpetuating violence against women.”

“Both China and India are facing shortages of marriageable-age women as a result of decades of this practice, a demographic fact that has sociologists and politicians concerned about the future of those nations,” CWA says.

Crouse says the breakdown of marriage and family do more to promote violence than failing to promote abortion.

“The facts are clear: the breakdown of marriage and family has been a major factor in increasing violence and abuse against women and children. The sad reality is that we are spinning our wheels as a nation in trying to keep up with the problems of women who are not protected by their husbands and of children who are denied the presence and protection of mature, concerned fathers,” Crouse says. ” A married father-mother home is the safest and most nurturing place for the nation’s women and children.”

Lead sponsors of the bills in the House and Senate include longtime abortion advocates.

Abortion advocates Barbara Boxer of California and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine are also behind the bill in the Senate.